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Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Saturday, 6 February 2010

Nottm Forest   2 - 1   Sheff Wed

Nottm Forest 2-1 Sheff Wed

Darren Purse argues his case at the City Ground
Purse argues his case that it should not have been a penalty in the first half

By Paul Fletcher
BBC Sport at the City Ground

Dexter Blackstock scored twice as Nottingham Forest kept up the pressure on West Brom in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League with a hard-earned and at times scrappy victory over an unlucky Sheffield Wednesday.

Blackstock had put Forest ahead from the penalty spot in the first half after Darren Purse was controversially found guilty of handball.

But the visiting team, who had won four of their previous five games since the appointment of Alan Irvine as manager, hit the crossbar through a deflected Darren Potter free-kick early in the second half.

And they eventually scored a deserved equaliser when the ball broke to the impressive Luke Varney, who smashed it beyond Lee Camp from eight yards.

PAUL FLETCHER'S BLOG

But with 10 minutes remaining Lee Grant failed to collect a cross from Chris Cohen and Blackstock showed quick reactions to stab the ball home from close range to ensure Forest remain only one point behind the second-placed Baggies in the Championship table.

Forest had seen their 19-game unbeaten run end at Derby last weekend but they have not dropped points at home since 7 November - and they showed the character and desire to grind out victory against the Owls even if the performance was below their recent standards.

Forest keeper Camp made a comfortable save from Varney shortly after kick-off but that was the only real moment of interest during a less than scintillating opening period that ended when Blackstock put Forest ahead after 23 minutes.

Wednesday skipper Purse argued vociferously that he could not avoid Blackstock's powerful shot but his appeals fell on stony ground and the Forest striker struck his subsequent spot-kick high beyond the dive of Grant.

The Wednesday bench were also incensed by the decision and referee Trevor Kettle and his assistants were harangued by the Owls backroom staff as they made their way from the field at the break.

However, the goal brought the game briefly to life and Forest finally started to find some fluency after a disjointed start.

Nathan Tyson, recalled in place of Radoslaw Majewski, forced a low save with a crisp long-range strike while the Owls keeper did well to keep out a free-kick from Robert Earnshaw.

To Wednesday's credit, Forest had been restricted to largely long-range efforts, while Varney almost equalised before the break but his effort was superbly blocked by Wes Morgan.

Wednesday came within inches of levelling shortly after the restart when Potter's free-kick took a deflection that left Camp stranded as the ball looped over his head and hit the woodwork before rebounding to safety.

Irvine's team made an industrious and confident start to the half, encouraged by travelling support of 3,718, and a cross-cum-shot from right-back Frank Simek looped beyond Camp but wide of goal.

A fully deserved equaliser eventually came when Varney slotted behind Camp with a crisp strike after 73 minutes but Forest stole all three points when Blackstock bundled home.

Referee Kettle played five minutes of injury time but Forest managed to close out the contest to secure what could prove to be a crucial three points.


Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies:
"We were going to substitute Blackstock before he scored. Sometimes it works out for you and sometimes it doesn't - but it did today.

"As for the penalty, it was a soft one and if I was their manager Alan Irvine I would have been very disappointed by it.

"I was just pleased that we showed the character to win what was a very difficult game against a team who had won four out of their last five matches and were clearly working very hard for a new manager.

"It was a good test for us, having lost our first game in 20 to our nearest and dearest last weekend. But it was important for us to dig in and show the mettle we needed to come off the pitch with three points."

Sheffield Wednesday boss Alan Irvine:
"I thought we deserved to get something out of the game.

"There was only one person in the ground who thought it was a penalty because the shot clearly struck Darren Purse on the back. It knocked us out of our stride for 10 or 15 minutes.

"But we talked about a few things at half-time and were in the ascendancy for the second half. I thought we might actually go on and win it because we were on the front when we scored the equaliser.

"But when you put into context how good a side Forest are, we can take a lot of heart from the performance. If we perform like that in our other games we will win more than we lose."

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Saturday, 6 February 2010

Championship

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Nottm Forest 2-1 Sheff Wed FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Blackstock (pen) 24
  • Blackstock 80
  • Varney 73

Nottm Forest

  • 01 Camp
  • 02 Perch
  • 05 Morgan
  • 06 Wilson
  • 16 Gunter yellow card
  • 11 Tyson (Anderson 65 yellow card)
  • 15 Cohen
  • 18 McKenna
  • 19 Moussi
  • 10 Earnshaw (Adebola 69)
  • 23 Blackstock (McGoldrick 83)

Substitutes

  • 21 Smith,
  • 04 Chambers,
  • 07 Anderson,
  • 08 McGugan,
  • 28 Majewski,
  • 09 Adebola,
  • 17 McGoldrick

Sheff Wed

  • 01 Grant
  • 02 Spurr
  • 04 Purse
  • 15 Beevers
  • 20 Simek
  • 14 Potter
  • 17 O'Connor
  • 30 Soares (Clarke 67)
  • 33 Gray yellow card (Esajas 67)
  • 07 Tudgay
  • 19 Varney yellow card

Substitutes

  • 25 Jameson,
  • 05 Hinds,
  • 08 McAllister,
  • 11 Esajas,
  • 12 Lekaj,
  • 24 Boden,
  • 18 Clarke
Ref: KettleAtt: 27,900
NOTTM FOREST
SHEFF WED

Possession

  • Nottm Forest 48%
  • Sheff Wed 52%

Attempts on target

  • Nottm Forest 6
  • Sheff Wed 3

Attempts off target

  • Nottm Forest 2
  • Sheff Wed 5

Corners

  • Nottm Forest 3
  • Sheff Wed 6

Fouls

  • Nottm Forest 18
  • Sheff Wed 12
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+5:58 The referee brings the game to a close.
  • 90:00+4:14 The ball is delivered by Frank Simek, Lee Camp makes a save.
  • 90:00+3:41 Lee Grant takes the free kick.
  • 90:00+3:41 Booking Paul Anderson booked for unsporting behaviour.
  • 90:00+3:37 Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Anderson on Lee Grant.
  • 90:00+2:53 The referee gives a free kick against Leon Clarke for handball. Lee Camp takes the direct free kick.
  • 90:00+2:29 Unfair challenge on Mark Beevers by Paul Anderson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Lee Grant.
  • 90:00+1:22 David McGoldrick takes a short corner.
  • 89:51 Marcus Tudgay is caught offside. Free kick taken by Lee Camp.
  • 85:20 The assistant referee flags for offside against Marcus Tudgay. Free kick taken by Lee Camp.
  • 84:44 Frank Simek fouled by Dele Adebola, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Lee Grant.
  • 82:45 Substitution David McGoldrick on for Dexter Blackstock.
  • 82:13 Darren Purse fouled by Chris Cohen, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Beevers.
  • 80:48 Outswinging corner taken by Darren Potter, save by Lee Camp.
  • 79:32 GOAL - Dexter BlackstockNottm Forest 2 - 1 Sheff Wed Dexter Blackstock fires in a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Nottm Forest 2-1 Sheff Wed.
  • 78:25 Unfair challenge on Chris Cohen by Tommy Spurr results in a free kick. Chris Cohen sends in a cross, Dexter Blackstock takes a shot. Lee Grant makes a save.
  • 77:28 Centre by James O'Connor, Kelvin Wilson makes a clearance.
  • 76:03 Effort on goal by Etienne Esajas from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • 75:55 Corner taken by Darren Potter, clearance made by Wes Morgan.
  • 74:59 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kelvin Wilson on Marcus Tudgay. Free kick taken by Darren Potter.
  • 73:28 Booking Booking for Luke Varney for unsporting behaviour.
  • 72:34 GOAL - Luke VarneyNottm Forest 1 - 1 Sheff Wed Luke Varney fires in a goal from inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Nottm Forest 1-1 Sheff Wed.
  • 71:15 Booking The referee books Chris Gunter for unsporting behaviour.
  • Correction - 70:55 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tommy Spurr by Chris Gunter. Lee Grant takes the free kick.
  • 70:55 Chris Gunter concedes a free kick for a foul on Tommy Spurr. Free kick taken by Lee Grant.
  • 68:42 Substitution Dele Adebola replaces Robert Earnshaw.
  • 66:11 Substitution Tom Soares goes off and Leon Clarke comes on.
  • 66:11 Substitution Etienne Esajas on for Michael Gray.
  • 64:04 Substitution Paul Anderson on for Nathan Tyson.
  • 63:48 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Darren Potter from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Paul McKenna.
  • 62:38 Effort on goal by Frank Simek from just inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 62:06 Chris Cohen concedes a free kick for a foul on Tommy Spurr. Free kick taken by Lee Grant.
  • 61:20 James O'Connor concedes a free kick for a foul on Nathan Tyson. Kelvin Wilson takes the direct free kick.
  • 58:11 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Gray by Chris Gunter. Lee Grant takes the free kick.
  • 57:03 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Perch by Tom Soares. Free kick taken by Chris Cohen.
  • 56:31 Dexter Blackstock fouled by Darren Purse, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kelvin Wilson.
  • 56:12 Robert Earnshaw is ruled offside. Lee Grant takes the free kick.
  • 55:29 Unfair challenge on Nathan Tyson by Tom Soares results in a free kick. Lee Camp takes the direct free kick.
  • 54:05 Chris Cohen takes a shot. Mark Beevers gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Paul McKenna, Dexter Blackstock concedes a free kick for a foul on Mark Beevers. Direct free kick taken by Lee Grant.
  • 51:10 Unfair challenge on Luke Varney by Wes Morgan results in a free kick. Darren Potter crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by James Perch.
  • 47:16 Paul McKenna challenges Darren Potter unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darren Potter shoots direct from the free kick,
  • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+3:05 The players leave the pitch at half time.
  • 45:00+2:27 Inswinging corner taken by Michael Gray from the right by-line, Headed effort from inside the area by Tommy Spurr misses to the left of the goal.
  • 45:00+1:35 Tommy Spurr fouled by Chris Cohen, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Darren Potter from left wing, Dexter Blackstock makes a clearance.
  • 44:46 Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul McKenna on Tommy Spurr. Darren Potter crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance made by Chris Gunter.
  • 43:41 Chris Cohen produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
  • 43:14 Tommy Spurr produces a cross, save made by Lee Camp.
  • 40:14 The ball is delivered by Nathan Tyson, Tommy Spurr makes a clearance.
  • 39:07 Luke Varney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Wes Morgan. Direct free kick taken by Wes Morgan.
  • 37:45 Frank Simek delivers the ball, blocked by Nathan Tyson. Inswinging corner taken by Michael Gray, save by Lee Camp.
  • 36:11 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kelvin Wilson on Luke Varney. Darren Potter takes the direct free kick.
  • 35:24 A cross is delivered by Chris Gunter, Darren Purse makes a clearance.
  • 32:55 Robert Earnshaw shoots direct from the free kick, save made by Lee Grant.
  • 32:55 Booking Michael Gray booked.
  • 32:38 Michael Gray challenges Chris Cohen unfairly and gives away a free kick.
  • 30:11 Corner taken by Paul McKenna from the left by-line, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Grant by Wes Morgan. Lee Grant takes the free kick.
  • 29:05 Shot by Luke Varney from 12 yards. Wes Morgan gets a block in. Corner taken by Michael Gray, save made by Lee Camp.
  • 26:29 Effort on goal by Robert Earnshaw from long range goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • 25:42 Wes Morgan fouled by Luke Varney, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Lee Camp.
  • 24:53 Effort on goal by Nathan Tyson from 30 yards. Save by Lee Grant.
  • 23:21 GOAL - Dexter BlackstockNottm Forest 1 - 0 Sheff Wed Dexter Blackstock scores a placed penalty. Nottm Forest 1-0 Sheff Wed.
  • 22:16 Shot by Dexter Blackstock. Darren Purse gets a block in. Darren Purse is penalised for handball and concedes a .
  • 20:48 The assistant referee signals for offside against Chris Cohen. Lee Grant restarts play with the free kick.
  • 19:24 Foul by Guy Moussi on James O'Connor, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Lee Grant.
  • 19:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Luke Varney on Wes Morgan. Free kick taken by Chris Cohen.
  • 18:10 Unfair challenge on Chris Gunter by Marcus Tudgay results in a free kick. Wes Morgan takes the free kick.
  • 17:46 Chris Cohen delivers the ball, Lee Grant makes a save.
  • 17:26 Tommy Spurr concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Cohen. Paul McKenna takes the direct free kick.
  • 14:30 Darren Potter produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
  • 13:57 Tom Soares fouled by James Perch, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Gray.
  • 13:28 Robert Earnshaw is caught offside. Lee Grant restarts play with the free kick.
  • 12:52 Luke Varney handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Lee Camp.
  • 11:58 Robert Earnshaw handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Lee Grant.
  • 10:14 Michael Gray sends in a cross, Lee Camp makes a comfortable save.
  • 7:45 Paul McKenna gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Gray. Direct free kick taken by Michael Gray.
  • 4:40 Nathan Tyson produces a cross.
  • 2:44 Michael Gray produces a cross, James Perch manages to make a clearance.
  • 1:49 Luke Varney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kelvin Wilson. Lee Camp takes the direct free kick.
  • 1:23 Luke Varney takes a shot. Save by Lee Camp.
  • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Championship table snapshot

As it stood on 6 Feb 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Newcastle 28 31 59
2 West Brom 29 28 56
3 Nottm Forest 29 24 55
4 Cardiff 28 18 45
5 Swansea 28 5 45
6 Leicester 27 3 42
7 Sheff Utd 29 1 42
8 Blackpool 29 8 40
9 Barnsley 28 -4 39
10 Middlesbrough 29 7 38
11 Bristol City 28 -4 37
12 Watford 28 -4 35
13 Preston 28 -7 35
14 QPR 28 -5 34
15 Coventry 29 -8 34
16 Crystal Palace 28 3 33
17 Doncaster 27 -2 33
18 Derby 29 -11 33
19 Scunthorpe 28 -14 33
20 Sheff Wed 29 -13 31
21 Ipswich 28 -8 30
22 Reading 28 -15 29
23 Plymouth 27 -15 24
24 Peterborough 29 -18 21